What is Green Film Making?

Green film making simply means leaving as little environmental impact on the planet as possible while producing your film. Aside from clear environmental benefits of making your film production greener, higher sustainable standards lead to: recognition from peers, audiences, investors, stakeholders and NGOs. It reduces reputational risk and enhances competitiveness. Taking the lead in sustainability also means you’ll stay on top of existing regulatory requirements and ahead of future legislation.

Is the environmental impact of a film really that big a deal?

Absolutely. We are living in an age of transition; the amount of fossil fuel resources is rapidly decreasing, this means we need to be very efficient with what we still use. But it also creates new opportunities to look for effective alternatives. Everyone has a part to play and the film industry is no exception since it’s a major contributor to environmental pollution. Like any other industry, there’s room for improvement. Things can be done more efficiently and by using fewer resources, that means productions should be cheaper too. For producers, the key is to identify priorities and challenges before production begins.

A useful checklist could include:

  • Make a green commitment and engage the filmmakers, financers and everyone involved with the production, at an early stage
  • Set achievable goals for yourself and the team, and lead by example
  • Identify green partners who can supply the products/services you need
  • Hold a pre-production meeting with department heads to announce the sustainability plan
  • Solicit input from department heads regarding ways to make their department greener
  • Hold a kick-off meeting with cast and crew to communicate green goals and strategies for the production
  • Include green updates in weekly production meetings
  • Consider doing a mid-point evaluation: compute progress statistics and share lessons learned to keep crew engaged and to re-energize the team.

A brief history of Green Filmmaking in the Netherlands

The Green Film Making Project started as the Green Film Making Competition: a competition that stimulates filmmakers to produce a film as sustainable as possible. The first edition was organized in 2012. From 60 entries a jury selected 6 finalists. The six teams produced a short film, maximum 10 minutes, as sustainably as possible. During their production process they implemented ways of working that are introduced in Hollywood and other international film sectors. They worked closely together with Dutch sustainable entrepreneurs. And they researched out of the box solutions to specific challenges they came across.

The 2013, 2014 ánd 2015 edition, (2015 under supervision of Sustainability Manager Els Rientjes) featured a close cooperation with the Netherlands Film Fund and mayor broadcaster NTR in their short film program KORT! (Short!) Ten teams worked on a short film, with the challenge of producing it as sustainably as possible. Knowledge and experience from the 2012 round was been brought further in another round of the Green Film Making Competition. KORT! is part of the Delta Plan Talent, a collaboration between the Netherlands Film Fund, Media Fund, CoBO and public broadcasting.

Read more about the Green Film Making Competitions